Did you hear about the Senate Judiciary committee hearing this week to respond to religious hate crimes? It was a timely hearing given the rise in religious-based hate crimes in the current political climate. In addition to civil rights powerhouse Vanita Gupta (most recently head of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ and incoming Leadership Conference President), witnesses included representatives from the American Jewish and Sikh communities. American Muslims were excluded from the witness list, but that’s totally understandable, because it’s not like there was a massive increase in hate crimes against American Muslims or anything. Oh, wait, we’re told there was a hike. What is it, 3-5% or something? A 67% JUMP IN 2015?? Well, an American Muslim may have not been included, but Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) had an interesting observation about what’s going on with anti-Muslim hate crimes: “It's no accident that there is a rise in hate crimes because we're in an environment where the president targets Muslims with his language.” Who would’ve thought these things could be related!

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